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Green light given for Darwen studio school
A NEW studio school will be built in Darwen after plans were given the green light by the Department for Education.
The Darwen Aldridge Enterprise Studio, sponsored by The Aldridge Foundation, will open in September 2013 and cater for 300 children aged 14 to 19. It will offer core GCSE qualifications along with work experience and work placements.
Talks are taking place over a location, with bosses thought to favour a site near Crown Paints and junction four of the M65. Aldridge Foundation chairman Sir Rod Aldridge said: “The Enterprise Studio is a unique opportunity to meet the needs of local young people and contribute to the regeneration of the area.
“It will build on the remarkable progress made by Darwen Aldridge Community Academy (DACA), its entrepreneurial culture and the strong links it has forged with a wide range of employers.
“Our vision for the Enterprise Studio focuses on delivering academic excellence and high-quality skills in sectors that have been identified as key to the growth of the local economy and future jobs.
“The Enterprise Studio will bridge the perceived divide between what our employers want and what schools can provide.”
DACA principal Brendan Loughran said that despite his school’s links to the new enterprise studio, it would be independent. He said: “The school will work in partnership with every school in Blackburn with Darwen.”
A number of local employers are supporting the scheme, including Crown Paints. Managing director Joe Devitt said: “We are delighted to be associated with this initiative. As a major employer in Darwen it is very much in Crown’s interest to have access to a pool of committed and well-trained students.”
Darwen Vale headteacher Fiona Jack said: “I am delighted. I think it is going to be great for the children of Darwen. It is vital to give broader opportunities to young people and it is exciting to see this happening in Darwen.”